The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),
using the model created by the Los Angeles City
Fire Department, began promoting nationwide
use of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Concept in 1994. Since then, CERTs have been established
in hundreds of communities.
CERT training promotes a partnering effort between
emergency services and the people that they serve.
The goal is for emergency personnel to train members
of neighborhoods, community organizations, or workplaces
in basic response skills. CERT members are then integrated
into the emergency response capability for their area.
If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community’s
professional response, CERT members can assist others by
applying the basic response and organizational skills that
they learned during training. These skills can help sustain
lives following a disaster until help arrives. CERT skills
also apply to daily emergencies.
CERT members maintain and refine their skills by
participating in exercises and activities. They can attend
supplemental training opportunities offered by the
sponsoring agency and others, that further their skills base.
Finally, CERT members can volunteer for projects that
improve community emergency preparedness.